PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota state government is launching a campaign to recruit telecommunicators to take phone calls and dispatch emergency services at 911 centers.

The Sioux Falls-based marketing firm Epicosity has signed a three-year no-bid contract for $44,500 with the state Department of Public Safety and the South Dakota 911 Coordination Board.

South Dakota has 32 county, municipal and tribal public-service answering points.

The 911 board on Monday also approved a $2,000 addition to an existing contract with Lawrence & Schiller to provide a link that people interested in working as a telecommunicator can use to reach a landing page on the DPS website.

The link will connect to contact information for public-service answering points throughout South Dakota, according to state 911 coordinator Maria King.

L&S, also based in Sioux Falls, maintains the department’s website. The 911 office is part of the department.

King told board members during the teleconference that the department is working with South Dakota Broadcasters Association on a radio-ad buy as part of the telecommunicators campaign. She said the board would receive more information at the June 2 meeting.

The board oversees contracts for South Dakota’s 911 service and redistributes some of the money collected from phone-services providers through a monthly surcharge of $1.25 per service line or a 2% gross tax on prepaid service. Those revenues plus interest earnings totaled more than $4.2 million last year.

State government also has a telecommunicator training program that’s funded through a $2.50 portion of the $50 liquidated-cost fee that the state court system adds to criminal convictions.

Since July 1, Epicosity has agreed to eight state-government contracts totaling more than $600,000.